If you drink coffee and are wondering whether it’s good for you or not, science has an answer for you.
Your psychophysiological profile is unique. How your body and your mind will respond to stimuli whether in the form of a beverage (like coffee) or an experience (like a rollercoaster ride) depends on the uniqueness of your psychology and biology in combination.
I am not a coffee drinker, but many years ago, my boss used to start our morning meetings with a trip to the cafeteria to get a cup of coffee. After many weeks of declining her offer to buy me a cup, there was this one instance in which, to avoid the awkwardness, I accepted a cup of decaffeinated coffee (which still contains caffeine by the way).
I remember becoming so wired that for a few hours, I kept involuntarily tapping my desk with my fingers as if I was sending a message in morse code. I found that reaction so foreign to me.
During that episode, my Cuban friends in Miami came to mind. Some of them are able to drink later in the evening a Café Cubano or Cafecito, a small but potent dose of Cuban coffee served in a thimble-sized cup which you down like a shot. After drinking this Cafecito, which in terms of caffeine content it makes a double espresso look like Evian water, they sleep like logs. How is that even possible?!
It all comes down to how your unique genetic configuration metabolises caffeine. So this is what you need to know about coffee:
The positives of drinking coffee
There are now plenty of studies that show how coffee can boost metabolism, improve memory and mood, decrease our chances of type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer and can also improve our sports performance.
Some people even use it for weight loss or to treat asthma, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and low blood pressure.
The negatives of drinking coffee
On the other hand, caffeine has been known to exacerbate anxiety disorders, heart conditions, high blood pressure, insomnia, stress, irritable bowel syndrome and weak bones (caffeine can increase the amount of calcium that is flushed out in the urine).
If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, a condition common in people who are under mental, emotional, or physical stress, coffee is definitely not advised as it will accentuate the symptoms which include trouble getting out of bed, chronic tiredness and trouble thinking clearly or finishing tasks.
Coffee can also become highly addictive and, for most people, it serves as a substance to suppress appetite or as an “energy” source to either feel motivated or even function.
Should I drink coffee or not?
If you drink coffee in moderate amounts (one or two cups a day) for the simple pleasure of it and don’t use coffee as a stimulant to get you going, most studies agree that there are no major health risks.
If you have been dependent on coffee to fuel your day for years, rest assured that you can enjoy even greater levels of energy without caffeine. You will have access to cleaner and more powerful energy sources once you drop the caffeine addiction, a topic which I will cover in a future post.
Don’t use a coffee as an energy source. Be completely frank and honest with yourself. Are you drinking coffee to enjoy the unique aroma of those Peruvian dark beans or just to get you through your next meeting?
Limit your consumption to 1 or 2 cups a day. Most studies show that having 4 cups of coffee a day is not considered hazardous to your health, but in my experience, people that drink more than 2 cups a day fall in the category of “drinking coffee for fuel”.
Believe that there is “energy” at the end of the tunnel. Some people that rely on caffeine for energy have the irrational belief that they if they bring their caffeine intake to a halt, they will not have enough energy to cope with the day. On the contrary, the clean and natural energy that you will derive from healthier sources (wholefoods and natural beverages) and exercise, will take your energy levels far beyond what caffeine can do for you and without any side effects or unpleasant symptoms to bear .
Don’t quit caffeine overnight. If you make the wise choice of eliminating caffeine once and for all, don’t go cold turkey. Switch from multiple cups to just one cup and then eventually switch to herbal teas. I will write another post on how to quite coffee in the healthiest way possible shortly 🙂